New Music Tuesday (Week of October 19th 2010)

Shakira, “Sale el Sol”

Multi-lingual Columbian superstar Shakira is at it again this time with a Spanish-language album. “Sale el Sol” is full of love songs, mid-tempo ballads and a handful of romp shakers set to urban, merengue inspired beats. The album features collaborations with Dominican urban recording artist El Cata (featured in the leadoff single, “Loca”), Calle 13 and Pitbull among others. As always Shakira’s songwriting is best when in her native tongue, the songs come off more passionate lyrically and in the delivery. That is not to say that her English-language efforts aren’t without merit, songs like “Fool,” “Underneath Your Clothes” and “The One” off her English-language debut “Laundry Service” as well as “Illegal” off English-language follow-up “Oral Fixation Vol. 2” are some of her strongest tunes. Not to mention chart-toppers and crowd pleasers like “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie” that catapulted the singer-songwriter to international superstardom. But like Calle 13 sings in “Gordita” we too liked her back when she sported black hair, had a rounder face and was a bit more rock n roll. Still “Sale el Sol” is a solid effort that grows on you the more times you listen to it. Stand out tracks include: “Addicted To You,” “Rabiosa” (both versions ft. El Cata and Pitbull), “Lo Que Mas,” “Mariposas” and “Devoción.”

K.Flay, “K.Flay” (EP)

San Francisco recording artist K.Flay combines her melodic vocals with her unique blend of electro-rock and hip hop. Her self-titled EP is superb and showcases her knack for rhyming. The five tracks fly by and have been on heavy rotation on my ipod. Expect wonderful things from this up and comer. Standout tracks: “No Duh,” and “Messin With My Head.”

Various Artists, “New Zealand at CMJ 2010”

The 13-track compilation CD features songs from New Zealand artists like Die! Die! Die!, Kids of 88, Zowie and Surf City. The artists are showcased at this year’s CMJ Music and Film Festival and the tracks range from pop punk to indie rock. Each track like its artist is distinct and infectious in its own right.

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